Project plan

This page provides information about the plans for the project and what will benefit from financial support. These plans change over time as tasks are completed, and new ones are added. The Directors of the Project set the priorities and decide on how the funds are to be spent within the guidelines of the University of Oxford.

None of the authors of RPC is paid by the project; all work on the project alongside their other duties (if ever needed, the project could buy time off from the University in order to focus on the project for a period of time). However, the project occasionally employs research assistants —often students— who help and support the authors by releasing them of some of the tasks.

In 2014, only volume IV was published on RPC online. In just a few years, many volumes were released: I, II, III, VI, VII, VIII, IX, and X. The project has been able to accelerate its achievements through the combined donations of several supporters, especially for the online publication of the first two volumes.

A. Publishing the remaining volumes online

Providing research assistants to support authors

Numerous tasks can be done to help the authors, including obtaining images from specific collections, uploading pictures from printed work, image editing, data checking, data editing, adding museum URIs, etc. This concerns the following volumes:

  1. volume V.1: the Severans (AD 193–218): Europe
  2. volume V.2:  the Severans (AD 193–218): Bithynia-Pontus and Asia
  3. volume V.3: the Severans (AD 193–218): from Lycia-Pamphylia to Egypt

B. Publishing the remaining volumes in print

Providing research assistants to support authors and prepare content for printing

As for the above, research assistants can be employed by the project to help and support the different authors. Tasks involved are similar to those listed above under (A), but they also include copy-editing of the introductory texts and the catalogue, preparing indexes 4 and 6 of the printed volumes (other indexes are generated automatically), plate improvements, proofreading, etc. This applies to the following volumes:

  1. volume IV.1: the Antonines (AD 138–192): Europe and Bithynia-Pontus
  2. volume IV.2: the Antonines (AD 138–192): province of Asia
  3. volume IV.3: the Antonines (AD 138–192): from Lycia-Pamphylia to Arabia
  4. volume V.1: the Severans (AD 193–218): Europe
  5. volume V.2:  the Severans (AD 193–218): Bithynia-Pontus and Asia
  6. volume V.3: the Severans (AD 193–218): from Lycia-Pamphylia to Egypt
  7. volume VI: from Elagabalus to Maximinus (AD 218–238)
  8. volume X: from Valerian to Diocletian (AD 253–297)

C. Improvements to the data

  1. 'Pseudo-autonomous' coins. Coins without imperial portraits are often very difficult to date. As the RPC series progressed towards completion, it became evident that many coins without imperial portraits were missing from the series. A very important undertaking is to study and complete the 'pseudo-autonomous' coinage for all cities and all volumes. This enormous task will require a post-doctorate researcher in numismatics to improve the data and add new material from the published literature, the auction catalogues, and the 'core collections'.
  2. Missing data. Some parts of the database are less complete than they should be, primarily for historical reasons. For example, Egypt was initially published in an abbreviated format in the printed volumes I and II without listing all the individual specimens from the literature and the core collections. In other circumstances, the coins were not listed, and a reference to an existing work was used for conciseness in the printed book. Numerous coins were later added online, but the data remains incomplete. The digital format now requires completing these parts, bringing them to the same standard as the others.
  3. Bibliography. The bibliography on RPC online was initially only a list of abbreviations used by the different authors. But user statistics show that it is becoming the bibliography of reference on the subject. Therefore, there is a need to edit this bibliography and complete it as possible. 
  4. Consistency. As RPC is the work of many individuals over many years, descriptions and texts do not necessarily follow the exact same conventions and are locally different. As the series is working toward completion on RPC online, it is becoming evident that data need to be edited for consistency and similar standards across all volumes.
  5. New publications. As research continues, it is also fundamental to keep RPC up-to-date so it remains the reference work on the subject. Funding allows the project to investigate new publications more systematically.

D. Technology

  1. Artificial Intelligence. The RPC database can be used with new technologies such as AI. This technology can automate the identification of coins and countermarks, and it will allow a systematic search for die links. The results will provide precious information on the quantification of provincial coinage and the local economy in the Roman provinces. The project already worked with Amazon AWS during a case study, and the first results were very encouraging  (to read more about it, see AWS's page on the collaboration with the RPC project). This is little doubt that this technology has the potential to revolutionize the current understanding of the subject.

E. Edited volume

  1. Edited volume & Conference. An edited volume and a conference are envisaged when all the volumes are published online. This conference will be organised in Oxford and will allow numismatists and historians from all over the world to discuss and analyse —for the first time ever— a complete picture of Roman provincial coinage from the data on RPC online. An carefully edited volume offering a General Introduction to all the material on RPC online will form the basis for future research on the subject.

If you are interested in supporting the project financially and would like to discuss the matter, please email us.